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Stay Safe During a Hurricane

The 2017 Atlantic Hurricane season is in full force. Since “protecting your people” is one of the hallmarks of the Cogency Team, we are offering the following guidance on staying safe during a hurricane.

  • Stay indoors.
  • Don’t walk on beaches, riverbanks or in flood waters.
  • Use flashlights in the dark if the power goes out. Do NOT use candles.
  • Continue listening to local area radio, NOAA radioor TV stations for the latest information and updates.
  • Avoid contact with floodwater. It may be contaminated with sewage, gasoline or contain dangerous insects or animals.
  • Turn off the power and water mains if instructed to do so by local authorities.

If you need to go outdoors:

  • Don’t walk, swim or drive through floodwater. Just six inches of fast-flowing water can knock you over and two feet will float a car.
  • If caught on a flooded road with rapidly rising waters, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground.
  • Don’t walk on beaches or riverbanks.
  • Don’t allow children to play in or near flood water.
  • Stay out of areas subject to flooding. Underpasses, dips, low spots, canyons, washes, etc. can become filled with water.

The American Red Cross has a Hurricane mobile app (available on Apple’s App Store and Android’s Google Play store) designed to educate and help families prepare for and recover from hurricanes. The app has 6 main tabs or sections:

  • Alerts – actively monitors and sends warnings and messages that can be set for specific locations or be based on the location of the mobile device
  • Tracker – links to a weather site to allow user-driven monitoring of weather events
  • Quizzes – teaches general and hurricane-specific disaster knowledge
  • Info – provides background about the app and the Red Cross and links to other useful apps
  • Toolkit – contains emergency resources such as a flashlight, strobe light and alarm, social media links for “I’m safe” reporting, weather links and a checklist for making a plan for such emergencies
  • Prepare – contains four additional sections, including:
    • Right Before – describes important preparedness and safety steps in the 2 to 3 days before landfall
    • During – describes personal and family protection activities during landfall
    • After – describes recovery and safety activities after the hurricane has passed and includes sections added as more response resources became available
    • Plan Ahead – describes more long-term disaster activities

For more information about the efficacy of the Red Cross Mobile App, please read Kirsch, T., Circh, R., Bissell, R., & Goldfeder, M. (2016). “Just-in-Time” Personal Preparedness: Downloads and Usage Patterns of the American Red Cross Hurricane Application During Hurricane Sandy. Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, 10(5), 762-767. doi:10.1017/dmp.2016.52. For flood water, water borne pathogens, health effects from flood water exposures and resources for risk assessments, please contact us at

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